Loss Of a Legend: WKU's Jim McDaniels Passes Away

Sep 7, 2017

Jim McDaniels wore the number 44 during his legendary career at WKU.
Credit WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of own of its most famous athletes.

Basketball legend Jim McDaniels passed away Wednesday night in Bowling Green at the age of 69.

McDaniels was a 7-foot center from Scottsville who led the Hilltoppers to the 1971 Final Four, and finished his career tied with the most points ever scored by a men’s player at WKU.

He’s one of eight former WKU players to have their jersey retired and hung in the rafters at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Funeral arrangements for McDaniels are still being finalized.

McDaniels ranks first in WKU history in career field goals (935), career scoring average (27.6 points per game) and double-doubles (74), second in rebounding average (13.1 per game) and field goals attempted (1,763), fourth in total rebounds (1,118) and ninth in made free throws (368).

“Jim McDaniels was a legendary and iconic figure in the annals of Western Kentucky basketball,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said in a statement released by the school. “His Hall of Fame accomplishments resulted in the most successful period in our program’s rich history and favorably impacted the Hilltopper Nation and college basketball fans throughout the nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim and his family. RIP Big Mac."